Dominican Republic, (Spanish: República Dominicana)
is a country located on the eastern two-thirds of the
Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. Hispaniola
is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles islands,
and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica.
A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule
lasted for much of the 20th century; the move towards
representative democracy has improved vastly since the
death of military dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo
in 1961. Dominicans sometimes refer to their country as
Quisqueya, a name for Hispaniola used by the native Taíno
Indians. The Dominican Republic is not to be confused
with Dominica, another Caribbean country.
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country has had a history of changing ownership, with occasional
attempts at independence and self-rule. First a Spanish colony
and then a French colony, it was subsequently ruled by Haiti
and then Spain again, and later the United States twice ruled
In the beginning the island was primarily inhabited by the
Taino, a branch of the Arawaks. Taino means "the good"
in that native language. A system of Cacicazgos (chiefdoms)
was in place, and Marien, Maguana, Higuey, Magua and Xaragua
(Also written as Jaragua) were their names. These chiefdoms
were then subdivided into subchiefdoms. The Cacicagzos were
based on a system of tribute, consisting of the food grown
by the Taino. Among the cultural signs that they left were
cave paintings around the country, which have become touristic
and nationalistic symbols of the Dominican Republic, and words
from their language, including "hurricane" (hurrakan)
and "tobacco" (tabakko).
Resort Areas and Individual Resorts in the Dominican Republic